What a pleasant day Friday turned out to be. A few lingering clouds in the morning didn’t hang around too long, giving way to clear skies the rest of the day. The air was calm and temps reached as high as 57°. And it didn’t stop there, as mountain-top residents were treated to one of the better sunsets of the year thus far, colors lasting well past the big orb dropped behind the horizon. Once the last of the oranges faded, the nearly full moon took over, lighting up the night sky and casting long shadows of tall spruces and firs. A walk by moonlight was in order, a scene appreciated even more by refraining from use of a headlamp (not recommended for the not-so-sure footed).
This weekend appears to be a wet one, as the clouds return and the breezes along with them. Later this morning thunderstorms are expected to fire up, producing heavy rainfall at times with wind gusts getting as high as 45 mph. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect from 8:00 AM today through 8:00 PM Sunday, especially since the ground is still decently saturated from our most recent storm. Again, use caution on trail as trees sway and rivers swell. For the moment, US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) remains open.